28 “He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to show the way before him in Goshen, and they came into the land of Goshen. 29 Then Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen. He presented himself to him and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while. 30 Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” (Genesis 46:28–30 (ESV)
My wife and I earlier this year spent a week with our son, his wife and their family in Pennsylvania. It was a wonderful time, especially the opportunity we both had to be with our four grandchildren. We do not see them that often in person, so when we do the reunion is always sweet.
Imagine what it must have been like for Jacob to reunite with his beloved son Joseph after two decades of being apart. Remember, Jacob during that time thought Joseph had died. His grief and sorrow never really dissipated. In fact, his grief for Joseph drove him to fear for the life of his youngest son, Benjamin. It influenced initial decisions he made.
However, Jacob and his entire family were now journeying to Egypt, where Jacob would finally reunite with his long lost son. Imagine the anticipation in the patriarch’s heart. Imagine the anticipations in Joseph’s heart to reunite with his father following his reunion with his brothers.
Jacob sent Judah on ahead. Judah became responsible to show his family the way to the Land of Goshen. At the same time, Joseph prepared his chariot in order to meet his father and his extended family.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “Having paused to list the names of those sons of Jacob who came into Egypt at Joseph’s request, Moses now describes the first encounter between Jacob and Joseph in over two decades (Gen. 37:2; 41:46–54; 45:6). We see that Joseph “prepared his chariot” to meet with his father (46:29), an easily omitted detail that Moses included in order to remind readers of Joseph’s magnificent status and therefore, his gracious forgiveness of those who hated him. He had the power to do otherwise, but Joseph was kind to his repentant brothers, showing us how God’s people repay evil with good.”
Romans 12:14-21 says, “14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
When Jacob and Joseph did reunite, their reunion was sweet. It involved weeping and embracing for a good while. Following this, Jacob said, ““Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.”
One author states, “After joyful tears and embraces, Jacob said he could die in peace after reuniting with Joseph (Gen. 46:30). The patriarch had been convinced that he would restlessly mourn Joseph’s death all the way to his own grave (37:29–35), but he could face his end with confidence and hope after seeing his son alive. Christians have a similar experience today. Figuratively speaking, Joseph died and rose again in Jacob’s eyes. We now know the One greater than Joseph who was literally resurrected. Thus, we can face death with peace (1 Peter 1:3). It is fitting that Jacob sent Judah ahead to lead him to Joseph (46:28) since he was the one who initiated the events that caused Joseph’s absence in the first place (37:26–28). We can also see here a faint picture of Christ, for while Jesus never sinfully sold His kin into slavery, He was also sent by the Father to reunite the Almighty with His people (John 3:16).”
Take time today to contact a relative or friend who you have not seen for some time. Is the relationship in need of repair? Take the opportunity to contact that person and if possible restore and rekindle the relationship. If there is unrepentant sin, pray for a forgiving spirit, whether for yourself or someone else.
Have a blessed day in the LORD.
Soli deo Gloria!
The His Word Today Podcast begins June 1, Soli deo Gloria!